Boasting about Coasting

22 05 2010

In the few days since my last post,I feel like weeks have gone by!
Here’s a smattering of updates on what is going here. A tour I took at the local Iguana Chocolate Factory was quite interesting. The chocolate factory in Mastatal looks less like a factory and more like a couple of buildings with no walls, some big drying racks for the beans made out of old screen doors, and a grinder/roaster made out of metal scraps. Apparently only 2% of the cocoa trees yield fruits usable for making chocolate, so it is a lot of work for not much profit. They still kindly wanted me to taste all of the different kinds they make, including ginger, cashew, and vanilla made from plants also grown in their own yard. The owner of the factory stops by Rancho Mastatal a couple of times each week to sell chocolate, so I’m sure I will get my fill before long!

After making supper one night (Rumpletethumps with beans and salad greens from the garden with homemade croutons), I have decided that I’m going to learn a lot about cooking while I’m here, and cooking with interesting ingredients and methods at that. A hike through the jungle with a local, Chapo, who agreed to show me around, and a trip to the Mastatal elementary school capped off my last few days in Mastatal nicely. I am slowly getting to know the other volunteers and it feels good to be able to make some friends here.

Thursday I decided to take a trip to the coast, and so here I am in Quepos, fifteen minutes from the beautiful national park Manuel Antonio, which is a picturesque combination of jungle, serene beaches, monkeys, sloths, and iguanas. I stopped by the park yesterday and saw my first sloth and some howler monkeys! Although tempted to explore more, I was seduced by a stunning beach, la Playa Espadilla Sur, and could not resist a few hours in its waves and on its shores. More beach today, and then back to the jungle tomorrow for some more wildlife spotting.

In other news, I experienced my first earthquake! A 6.2 quake hit just a few kilometers from Quepos on Thursday, scaring me silly, especially when it started storming enough to flood the streets immediately after. It was nice to be in the hostel at least, with some other friendly people. Though I can admit I was nervous, I have officially decided that I am glad I was here for the earthquake, as it is not an experience many Canadians have. (I say that…but if there is another one today then so-help-me I am outa here!)

My first experience in a hostel is going really well. It is so interesting to meet people from all over the world, made easier by the fact that almost all of them speak English in addition to their first language. There are many people from Germany here, some from Denmark, Holland, and Ireland, and a few people also from the United States and Canada.

Sunday I head back to Mastatal, and Monday I start Spanish lessons and volunteering officially. I can’t wait to start lending a hand and getting involved in the interesting projects that are abound at the Rancho and in the town. More on that to come.

It feels like I have been gone a long time, yet it has only been a week! Wow. Time is a crazy phenomenon I think I may never quite understand.

I hope all is well in your lives as well! I hope to get some pictures up in the next while, but we’ll see how that goes.

Ciao for now!

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3 responses

26 05 2010
brydie

Hi Morgan,

Loving your updates! Sounds amazing. Can’t believe it about the earthquake, glad all is ok.

Have fun xo b

22 05 2010
Megan Miri

A Poem:
“Rumpletethumps /
with beans and salad greens from /
the garden”

It sounds beautiful and terrifying. Costa Rica, not the poem. The poem is great.

1 06 2010
mbayda

more beautiful than terrifying though. Thanks for the poem!

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